Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Plagiarized by heikeknits.

This morning, I saw a link to a history of knitting article go by on my Twitter feed, so of course I clicked on it. Because, hey, ongoing interest over here. Y'all may have noticed.

I got THIS. My jaw kind of dropped. There was a second half of the article, so I clicked and...


In case anyone would like to compare, here is THE ORIGINAL KNITTY ARTICLE. Written by ME. She stole the pictures too. For amusement's sake, here's her, defending HER COPYRIGHTS. Yeah. Apparently she missed the two-way-street aspect of those laws.

I did not give this person permission. I didn't know it was going on.

So I went over and left a couple comments on the relevant blog posts. "YOU STOLE MY ARTICLE." With a link to the Knitty article. Seemed little else to say, really. So I didn't.

Woosh. The offending blog posts disappaeard. Poof! The wonders of the internet.

Or NOT, you know, because of Google Archive. (Known to geeks as "The Wayback Machine".)

Right then. I left a comment on the main page of the blog. "YOU STOLE MY ARTICLE." With a link. Because, again, not a whole lot to dither about.

That's when I got an e-mail. (I'd left my full contact info on the messages, because, hey, not stupid.)

I'll just post the e-mails in full. That way no one can cry about 'out of context' later. Or me making shit up, or being a meanie. Or whatever the hell.

Hi Julie,

I did use your article as the base for mine and asked the V&A museum if I could use images from them.
I am sorry if I offended you and as I do not want to infringe on any copyright issues I have taken these posts of my blog.

I hope that this is settles any misgivings there might be and you will accept my apologies.

Best wishes

You didn't use it as the base. YOU USED IT WORD FOR WORD. Those images are from MY ARTICLE. All you had to do was ask permission from me and credit me for the info and I'd have given it. AND SINCE YOU DIDN'T ASK MY PERMISSION, I DOUBT YOU ASKED THE V&A. And not all the images are from them, if you'd actually read the credits on my article where I WAS HONEST.

You plagiarized and would have left it there forever if I hadn't called you on it.

Admit it publicly. You do not deserve any credit for that article. It took three months' research with a university librarian helping me, and right now your readers still think YOU DID THE WORK. That is completely unacceptable.

No, this does NOT 'settle it'.

I am really really sorry about this and can only profusely apologise. I have a miniscule readership as this blog hasn't been here for long. I am glad you have made me aware of my huge mistake and it has taught me an invaluable lesson on copyright issues. I need to get much more clued up on all of this.

I will give you a public apology on my blog next time I post and really hope you will now accept my apology.

Best, Heike

Incidentally, the internet at large has got the bit between their teeth and are now going through other blog posts of yours, looking for other plagiarism. And I think some are looking at your designs.

I did not tell them to do it. They just saw the plagiarism and wondered if you had stolen anything else.

Today would be good. "Sometime" not so much.

I have taken my blog off the net as the last thing on my mind was to do a wrong thing or to offend anyone.

I don't care. I WANT YOU TO STATE PUBLICLY THAT YOU STOLE THE INFORMATION. Right now there's folks out there thinking you did all the work on that article. CORRECT IT.

Don't make me escalate this. I'm not in the mood and I've got better crap to deal with. But I will, if you don't do the right thing. All the deletion in the world is not going to fix this. Not until you state, on your unlocked blog, to everyone who reads it, that THAT WAS NOT YOUR WORK.

And the deletion? Doesn't matter. It's in Google Archive for anyone who wants to look.
[Link to Google Archive's relevant bits here.]

I am doing it now, it will be there in the next 10 min

THIS is the 'apology' I got.

Anyone see any remorse or regret there? 'Cause I don't.


debsnm said...

All I see is CYA - she understands copyright, because of her patterns. Wonder how she'd like it if someone started distributing her patterns without her permissions?

Faye said...

Good for you. Shame on her.

scifiknitter said...

There's an apology but she does not cop to stealing from you. What I do see is panic. She has taken down all of her blog posts, all of her patterns.

This is a perfect example of "what goes around, comes around", and it was a luscious, guilty pleasure to watch you skewer her. Your blog name is so very appropriate.

Roz said...

I can't even say what I want to say without swearing profusely. As a journalist, a fiction writer, and as a decent, law-abiding person, I am disgusted and horrified.

She's in the UK. They have an even more aggressive copyright law that the US does.

I'd keep a lawyer on speed dial -- maybe someone over at Pitt Law might have some ideas?

Rachelle said...

She's trying to make it look fluffy; personally I think "Sorry I stole her work" would have been much more appropriate. If she wanted to show people the article then a link to it would have done the job nicely and left credit where it was deserved.

Anonymous said...

Well, that is one blog I will never have to read...EVAH!!!
Carol aka GrizzlyBear

Barbara said...

I'm speechless at that email exchange. "hardly anyone reads my blog" and for good reason. Shame on her. Good for you for not backing down.

MagicChupacabra said...

Look at the bright side here.

You're good enough that people want to rip off your work.

That does say something :)

book_faerie said...

I tried to leave this as a comment on her blog, but I couldn't get it to post:

"Using without permission." Wow. You took her ENTIRE article and posted it as your own without ANY attribution. That's straight-up PLAGIARISM. Even if you had asked, using someone's entire article is generally frowned upon. It's called doing one's own research. And then putting it into one's own words. Which is what one is supposed to do. You even go so far as to claim copyright on all materials on your own site! Clearly, that was entirely not the case here. This is just about the weakest "apology" I've ever seen.

Arianne said...

Few things spring to mind- she probably didn't even give a talk since she's clearly a liar (reminds me of the whole Gigi Silva fiasco...) and poor Dee from Posh Yarns has been taken in by her! Seriously- I'd know your History of Knitting article anywhere. For one your writing style is YOUR voice and unmistakeable, second I've read it enough times to have practically memorised it!

GothamMuse said...

She is indeed unapologetic in her apology. And as of 7:45 PM EDT on 21 March, all her blog posts are live again.

Anyone else notice her Workshops link and all the 2012 dates? I wonder where she gets the content of her classes, if she plagiarizes from Knitty for her blog posts?

I wonder what the yarn shops that are hosting those workshops think of hosting a plagiarist?

Jennifer Crowley said...

Good on you for not backing down. It really makes me frustrated when people plagiarize.

Leonie said...

Lordy some people have guts! She certainly did present the work as her own and did nothing to clear that up in the apology. Not surprised others started looking for other bits of plagiarism. I would too!

amy said...

I think you should try to track down the President of the Rotary's Inner Table in her market town of North Wales and let the President know the talk was pilfered.

Anonymous said...

Just posted this on the heikeknits site. Thought I should post here also.

So what I want to know is whether you plagiarised – let’s call it what it is – Julie’s entire Knitty article for your talk to the Rotary’s Inner Table? I work as an academic and I am sick to death of my students ripping off other people’s work from the internet and passing it off as their own. I am also sick to death of my students recording my lectures and photographing my presentations and passing them off as their own when they get jobs at other universities. They don’t seem to understand that nobody thinks any less of them if they honestly acknowledge the author, but they do think a lot less of them if they cheat, lie and steal, which is what plagiarism is: you steal somebody’s work, you lie that it is your own and by doing so you cheat your audience. Have you owned up to the President of the Inner table that you took credit for somebody else’s work. You should.


Arianne said...

If, as Amy said, you want to track down the Rotary Club and let them know she plagiarised her talk then I'd be more than happy to help seeing as I now live in Wales part-time (during the school year)!

Alacaeriel said...

And... the page has been taken down again! I clicked on the link, and got... a list of random links as well as a "why are you seeing this?" link at the top. Do you suppose someone tracked down some of "her" patterns?

Alwen said...


Guess you'll have to link to a cache of the apology, too - ATTM the whole blog is gone.

wondrousitem said...

Link to apology, since the site has been removed again.

kayT said...

The new link wondrousitem posted doesn't work either; I guess she has vanished herself. I wonder if she will return under a new name to begin "borrowing" again? Good on you for not letting her get away with just making the theft invisible. It's time for everyone to stand up against this kind of theft.

Catie said...

That's horrible. And what I don't get is how she thought she could get away with it - also the apology isn't very apologetic.

Emily said...

Jeepers. I am stunned. And she thought nobody reads Knitty?? Or would remember your article?? What a tiny-brained person. At least she's blindingly stupid at plagiarizing.

I don't even know how it's possible to apologize for conscious, intentional theft.

Go, Julie.

David Austin Smith said...

Yeah her whole blog has been taken down. She's probably retooling a new site at this very moment and is planning on importing her original blog posts. I use the term 'original' with tongue firmly in cheek. She's an unrepentant thief and WILL continue to steal other people's work and pass it off as hers. She is making money off of her reputation as an expert. I seriousily doubt she did a lecture on knitting. Why stop at one lie? Sic'm Julie!

Foxdaughter2 said...

Clearly she does not have an understanding of American copyright either, as well as MORALITY. You cannot tell someone what they can and cannot do with works made from your patterns. The patterns themselves, yes, the items themselves, no. Once you knit that sweater, with your time, money, yarn, etc, it is YOUR sweater. She is clearly a bully, as well as immoral.

Corlis said...

Page not found. Even wonderousitem's helpful link didn't work when I copy/pasted into a new window.

Congratulations on the smack down!

Anonymous said...

I think she took down the page. When I click on the link, I get this random unrelated page, and when I went to the other link, and clicked home, I got the same unrelated page. So, yeah...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Foxdaughter2. Stealing somebody elses work while claiming rights to people's finished objects that she does not have tells me that she doesn't EVER do her own research. I think I'm going to check her out on Ravelry.

Amy Lane said...

Go Julie! Kicking ass and taking names-- AWESOME!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Now calling herself Made with Loops